Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirls

Thu, 01/12/2011

I have a favorite holiday book, which is straight out of the 70s, but still dear to my heart.  It is entitled “The Joys of Christmas” and it shares Christmas customs and traditions from throughout the world.  I’ve loved reading this book ever since I was a child, and now have fun sharing it with R and G.

The phrase from this book that sticks with me year after year is in the beginning of the book:

“December is here.

And suddenly, it’s as if some mysterious cupboard, crammed full of the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas, were thrown open.”

Okay, one could argue that now, more than 30 years after the book was originally written, the mysterious cupboard opens somewhere during the end of October or November, but to me, “December” on the calendar is special.

Since I am sure many of you are planning out your Christmas cookie plans already, how about a Christmas cookie recipe to start off this special month?

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Add the egg and beat until fully combined.  Add the peanut butter, salt, baking soda and vanilla extract.  Beat until fully incorporated.  Add the flour, and again, beat until fully incorporated.

Place the dough in two separate bowls, and add the cocoa powder to one half of the dough.

For each cookie, Combine a small ball (about 1-2 teaspoons) of each dough and gently press together.

Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet.  

Gently press the top of each cookie with the back of a fork to make a grid pattern.

Bake 10 minutes or until fully cooked, so the middle of the dough no longer is shiny and the edges are slightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Life is sweet (and so are Christmas cookies!),